Ask T+L: Rome Hotel, Airline Upgrade, Prague Restaurants, Driving Scotland
I'm looking for a centrally located, small hotel in Rome that won't cost a fortune. any ideas?
—Connie Bolton, Dallas, Tex.
The 62-room Albergo del Sole (39-06/6880-6873; www.solealbiscione.it; doubles from $124) is steps away from historic Piazza Navona and the bustling Campo de' Fiori market. Book a fifth-floor room with a private terrace overlooking the courtyard garden. Near the Pantheon is the palatial Hotel Navona (39-06/686-4203; www.hotelnavona.com; doubles from $176), with 31 spacious rooms in green and cream. Or check into the Beehive (39-06/4470-4553; www.the-beehive.com; doubles from $93), a seven-room hotel, run by an American couple, with lemon and fig trees in the garden, two blocks from Rome's central Termini station.
My wife and I are driving from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye this summer. What's the best route and where should we stop? —Gloria McCullen, Arlington, Va.
No matter what your exact path, this drive passes through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world—you're guaranteed to see lochs, moors, and castles. The area between Edinburgh and Glasgow is densely populated, so follow a northwesterly route: leave the city via the A90, then pick up the A823 to Crieff, where you'll change to the A85. Take the A82 to the gorgeous valley of Glencoe, then bear west to Skye on the A87. This highway goes directly to Skye via a bridge, or you can opt for a more romantic detour through the town of Shiel Bridge and take the six-car ferry at Glenelg (www.skyeferry.co.uk; from late March through October). On Skye, stay at the cozy, seven-room Kinloch Lodge (Sleat; 44-1471/833-214; www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk; doubles from $434) and stop by the village of Carbost to tour the famous Talisker scotch distillery (Carbost; 44-1478/614-308).
Can you give me some tips on using airline alliances for upgrades? —Patricia Olsen, San Rafael, Calif.
Thanks to groups like Star Alliance, SkyTeam, and Oneworld, you can choose among more flight schedules and connections, gain access (in most cases) to the VIP lounges of your carrier's partners, and redeem miles for flights or upgrades. You shouldn't try to contact the airline for an upgrade until after you buy the ticket. And remember that each member airline retains its own rules and restrictions despite being a part of the alliance. Many upgrades are restricted by fare type and seat availability (your odds improve with elite membership). If you are purchasing online, be aware that sites like Priceline and Hotwire sometimes issue tickets that are not upgradable.
My husband and I are planning a trip to Prague. Do you have a list of lesser-known restaurants that we should visit?
—Judy Crum, Chicago, Ill.
Head to the quirky Cervená Tabulka (4 Lodecká; 420-2/2481-0401; dinner for two $50) for port wine-braised leg of rabbit with gingerbread dumplings or tempura-battered black tiger shrimp. The casually stylish Kolkovna (8 V Kolkovne; 420-2/2481-9701; dinner for two $35) melds new with old in specialities like roasted pork knuckle with barbecue mustard and fresh horseradish, or ostrich carpaccio with yogurt-truffle dressing. And for creative brews with a classic bowl of goulash, try Pivovarský Dum (15 Lípová; 420-2/9621-6666; dinner for two $25). This microbrewery makes everything from a traditional, hoppy Czech pilsner to beers flavored with sour cherries or banana.